By Ryan Muthiora
The Kenyon women’s soccer team won their final regular season game of the year 2-0 at Oberlin College this past Saturday. The Ladies received help from two second-half goals by Becca Romaine ’15 and solid defensive play all game, allowing Oberlin just one shot on goal over the entire 90 minutes.
In the 61st minute, Romaine and Maggie Smith ’17 combined for another beautiful series of quick passes around the edge of the box, leaving Romaine enough room to knock the ball past the opposing goalie.
Sixteen minutes later, Romaine drilled a shot from well outside the 18-yard box into the top corner, giving the Ladies their third consecutive North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) game win and the ticket to hosting the first postseason game. Kenyon’s defense did an outstanding job yet again of possessing the ball, while also being aware of certain long-ball opportunities to get quick and efficient attacking possessions.
With this win, the Ladies clinched a share of the NCAC regular season title, doing so for the first time in eight years.
“It was something we were really up front about with our players after Wednesday’s game at Ohio Wesleyan, where we just wanted to make sure we knew where we were, and what we were going for,” Head Coach Kelly Bryan said of winning the NCAC.
The Ladies hosted Wittenberg University yesterday on Mavec Field for the semifinal game of the NCAC tournament and got even with the only conference team that defeated them this year; earlier in the season, Wittenberg claimed a 1-0 victory against the Ladies.
“It’s really exciting, because it’s the first time that Kenyon women’s soccer has gone into the conference tournament with the No. 1 seed,” midfielder Lucy Evert ’16 said.
Yesterday the Ladies further asserted themselves as the winner of the conference and won 2-0 against the Tigers. Neither team was able to score in the first half of the game, and the teams appeared to be evenly matched. This trend continued well into the second half, until Romaine scored the first goal of the game, shooting a penalty kick after 59 minutes of play. This marked Romaine’s 15th goal of the season. The Ladies continued to play well on offense, as Smith scored the Ladies’ second goal of the game just 14 minutes later, bringing the final score to 2-0 and giving the team the chance to play in the NCAC championship this coming weekend.
The Ladies also won the advantage of playing on their home field and will take on Allegheny College this coming Saturday for the NCAC championship.
“From a soccer standpoint, it’s going to be great to be on our home field,” Evert said.
“Allegheny’s a very strong team, so we have to go into this game the way we went into every single game in this conference,” Evert said. “If we play our game the way that we know we can play it, we have a shot.”
If the past two games are any indication, the fortunes of women’s soccer will depend largely on the ability of Romaine and Smith to find the back of the goal as they have over the course of this season.
“Becca and Maggie, all year, have just been huge scoring threats,” Evert said. “We’ve been very reliant on them.”
However, good defense, sound fundamentals, and teamwork will help the squad put everything together and continue their success.
“I think it’s just a huge team effort all the time,” Evert added.